MN FutureWork Series Four

We just wrapped up the CTE Works! Summit, a one-day event bringing together educators and business/industry partners to talk about the future of career and technical education in Minnesota and around the country. These curated articles reflect some of the challenges we will face as we look ahead. We hope you enjoy them.

Series Four

How BASF Is Recruiting More Women for STEM Careers
By Patricia Rossman, Chief Diversity Officer
Industry Week
Oct 13, 2016

The gender gap in tech is getting worse but it’s fixable
By Sharon Florentine
October 26, 2016

U.S. Mfg. Jobs Plentiful, But Skills Lacking
By Brian Ballard
Nov ember 2, 2016

Cleaning in the Digital World – the time for action is now
Europe Cleaning Journal
November 2, 2016

Nurses Are Again in Demand
By Melanie Evans
Wall Street Journal
Updated November 7, 2016

To Close the Skills Gap, Make College Accessible and Affordable
By Lisa W. Wardell
November 11, 20216

Trump has promised manufacturing jobs, but high school grads might want to seek credentialed “middle-skills” posts instead
By Anthony Carnevale
Hechinger Report
November 15, 2016


MN FutureWork Series Three

We hope you’re enjoying the Minnesota FutureWork series. These articles originate from various media sources throughout the country and carefully curated by our content curators.

Series Three

Up-skilling Manufacturing: How technology is disrupting America’s industrial labor force
PricewaterhouseCoopers with the Manufacturing Institute
June 2016

Minnesota’s Tight Labor Market
By Tim O’Neill
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: Minnesota Employment Review
September 2016

The Talent Tipping Point: Why it’s Critical for Manufacturers to Embrace STEM
By Robert McCutcheon
Industry Week
October 5, 2016

How older workers can thrive in IT
By Sharon Florentine
October 11, 2016

Accepting Alternatives: Career and Technical Education Should Be Embraced
By Michael Jasper
Harvard Political Review
October 18, 2016

The most under-prioritized skill: communication
By Jordan Gonen
Startup Grind
October 27, 2016

Picture of three students talking to each other.
Photo Credit: Alexis Brown


Twin Cities need more ‘girls who code’
By Neal St. Anthony
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 29, 2016

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Community Partner Views CTE Teachers as Champion Collaborators

~by Tom O’Hern

We often see and hear the acronym “CTE.” What does Career and Technical Education actually entail for high school students?

DECA, Business Professionals of America (BPA), AVID, science, technology and math (STEM) initiatives … These are just some of the high school programs occurring each and every day alongside CTE often with similar goals and intents.

The awesome collaborations I have had with many CTE teachers and their students for several years now has left me with one constant and observable theme: the CTE teacher’s strong desire for applicable opportunities to which students can tangibly grasp success. It’s more than just exposure to new things—it’s a desire to directly linking that student to a pathway for high school and post-high school education and employment.

I’ve also observed “universal teacher advocacy” to which CTE teachers are some of the most insistent educators I know. They listen intently to what their students are interested in and then try to fill that interest with academic, industry and community resources.

This exhausting advocacy includes high-volume student caseloads, a plethora of student Individual Education Plans or Personal Learning Plans, student attendance/absenteeism inconsistencies, student credit recovery … you name it. The CTE teacher has this winding flow of factors that sometimes is askew from what many deem as traditional and normative education practices.

In my own educational lens, the ultimate goal is for CTE students to be their own advocates when exploring the world of work. To ultimately grasp workplace competencies is what the CTE teacher evokes.

I, in turn, try to provide meaningful opportunities for those teachers with two focus features: (1) To provide resources and strategies that do not add more work for the teacher (2) The experiential activity (whether in-class or at a community business location) is meaningful for the students and adheres to the teachers classroom curriculum.

Student career pathways, career and college readiness programs, and circular core clusters are only so effective unless there are adult advocates within any profit or non-profit organization willing to open doors for student opportunity. For example, the continual employee shortages in manufacturing businesses (metals, printing, etc.) in Minnesota is expansive. Filling those gaps is imperative.

The answer does not lay in the lap of CTE alone. It’s a partnership that needs champions and advocates on both the education and the employer sides. The CTE bridge is strong, but the path for students to cross over into the workplace is paved by all who are willing to create and follow-through with commitments to student success.

Tom O’Hern is our guest blogger and High School Program Manager for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest

MN FutureWork Series Two

We hope you enjoyed the first curated collection from the Minnesota FutureWork Series. MN FutureWork is a curation of articles highlighting current trends and news that impacts the industry, economy, students, job seekers, and career changers. These articles originate from various media sources throughout the country and carefully curated by our content curators.

Start your Friday morning today with a fresh cup of coffee, calming tea, or large glass of lemon-infused water and relax while you peruse the next series of MN FutureWork articles!

Series Two

American manufacturing output is at an all-time high
By Simon Montlake
Christian Science Monitor
June 29, 2016

Medical workforce shortage affects health care in Minnesota
By Trey Mewes
Washington Post/Associated Press
July 16, 2016

This skill could save your job – and your company
By Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup
World Economic Forum
August 31, 2016

Some companies have taken the next obvious step to filling jobs that sit vacant
By Nicole Sinclair
Yahoo Finance News
September 21, 2016

U.S. quietly works to expand apprenticeships to fill white-collar jobs
By Matt Krupnick
Hechinger Report
September 27, 2016

Will I need a license or certification for my job?
Elka Torpey
BLS: Career Outlook
September 2016

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Introducing the Minnesota FutureWork Series

The Minnesota FutureWork Series is a curation of articles highlighting current trends and news that impacts the industry, economy, students, job seekers, and career changers. These articles originate from various media sources throughout the country and carefully curated by our content curators.

We will post these curated articles weekly in a category called MN FutureWork.

The First Series

The skills supply chain must change as software eats the world
By Mark Muro
Brookings Institution
June 2, 2016

Three Megatrends Transforming Manufacturing
by Stephen Gold
Industry Week
June 3, 2016

The Growing Urgency of Government’s Quest for Talent
By Elizabeth K. Kellar
Tech Wire
June 21, 2016

Half of the high-paying jobs in America now require this skill
By Catey Hill
Market Watch
June 22, 2016

How tech is reshaping work values and goals
By Peter B. Nichol
CIO Magazine
June 28, 2016

Population Futures
Shaping Tomorrow
August 2016

Employers Find ‘Soft Skills’ Like Critical Thinking in Short Supply
By Kate Davidson
Wall Street Journal
August 31, 2016

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Top 5 Reasons YOU Should Be at the 2016 Minnesota CTE Works! Summit

1. Sharpen the Saw

Sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” of your work to sharpen your skills. A dull axe won’t cut a tree nearly as effectively as a sharp one. Spend one day learning from your peers about innovations in the classroom and workforce development practices.

2. New Tools

Companies often have tools to display that we haven’t seen yet. Technology that make us more efficient, better positioned to make informed decisions, or give us some other sort of edge. Explore the Technology Gallery Walk to learn about quality online and other technology tools for teaching and career exploration.

3. Learn in a New Space

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OHE Offers Loan Repayments To Curb Teacher Shortage

Minnesota schools are experiencing a teacher shortage in several critical areas.

teacherAccording to Education Minnesota, the hardest positions to fill are in special education, math and science. There is also a need for more teachers to lead Career and Technical Education classes in high schools.

The state also has low numbers of teachers of color compared to Minnesota’s diverse student bodies.

Qualified teachers can apply for financial incentives to work in classrooms. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education announced The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program. Created in 2015 by the State Legislature, and signed into law by Governor Dayton, the program is intended to encourage teachers to teach in designated Minnesotan shortage areas.

According to OHE, Qualifying teachers who apply by June 30, 2016 may be eligible for repayment assistance of $1,000 per year, up to a total of $5,000. OHE estimates that 194 awards will be made for the 2015-2016 award year, with as many as 1,940 annual awards made through 2019.

Teachers can apply for the loan repayment program who:

  • Hold a teaching license issued by the licensing division in the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of the Board of Teaching
  • Are employed by a school district to provide classroom instruction
  • Teach in a designated teacher shortage area; and
  • Have outstanding qualified educational loan debt.

More Information:


The Almost Graduate: Part III of an Adult Learner's Back-to-School Journey

by Jared Reise~

Two and a half years ago, I was contemplating going back to school for the first time in a long time.

After I started my education journey, I dished out advice at the midway point of my studies.

Today, I can say that I have successfully completed the Minneapolis Community & Technical College’s Screenwriting track in Cinema Studies.  I’m a step closer to my associate degree.

There’s still more to come for me. And you can start or redirect your own back-to-school journey.

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Sen. Franken Tackles Skills Gap During MN College Visit


Minnesota Senator Al Franken toured Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead last week.  The college showcased its programs that pair students with local industry for work-based learning.  Senator Franken acknowledged that what MSCTC and other community colleges are doing to connect student learning with employer needs is working.

The Senator’s visit gave him the opportunity to talk about his proposed legislation called the “Community College to Career Fund Act.” It would create a competitive grant program supporting partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.  This funding opportunity aims to eliminate the skills gap between job candidates and industry needs.

Read more about the Senator’s visit to MSCTC from Agweek.


Featured image courtesy Craig Willford through Creative Commons 2.0